Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

The suspect in the killing spree has now been charged in two Texas counties

By meerna Jun12,2024

Shane James Jr.’s lawyer Bexar County prosecutors recently filed charges, he said. The question now is: which district will take the initiative?

AUSTIN, Texas – An accused killer now faces charges in Travis and Bexar counties following a rampage that left six people dead and three others injured in December 2023.

New charges were revealed Tuesday during a court hearing in Austin in the Shane James Jr. murder case. Police believe James killed his parents in Bexar County and then engaged in a fatal shooting in Austin.

Throughout the day on December 5, 2023, Emmanuel Pop Ba, Sabrina Rahman, Katherine Short, and Lauren Short were killed in seemingly random shootings. An Austin ISD police officer, a bicyclist and an Austin police officer were also shot but survived.

James was not present at Tuesday’s brief status hearing. Instead, he remained in the Travis County Jail. His appointed attorney, Russ Hunt Jr., revealed that Bexar County filed charges against James two weeks ago.

Although officials with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office would not comment on the ongoing case, a spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to KVUE that his office has an active capital murder arrest warrant out for James.

Judge Clifford A. Brown told lawyers for both sides that he would give them more time between hearings because there was too much evidence.

“Bexar County has started reporting information about their findings in their case to Travis County, so Travis County is reporting it to us,” Hunt said. “But they’ve only just started doing that because Bexar County just filed their charges a few weeks ago.” “

RELATED: Lawyers charged with murder in Central Texas to go on trial

The judge also demanded clarity on which county would lead the prosecution.

“So far, Bexar County is telling Travis County that they want Travis County to take the lead,” Hunt said. “Obviously, there are some decisions that need to be made in the meantime to figure out who will take the lead.”

Another question that remained unanswered on Tuesday is whether the death penalty will be possible in this case.

“Honestly, I would always prefer to avoid a trial if at all possible,” Hunt said. “I prefer a negotiated outcome where everyone gets something they can live with.”

KVUE also asked if a settlement had been discussed, but Hunt said that had not happened.

Prosecutors with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office did not speak to reporters after Tuesday’s hearing. A spokesperson later told KVUE they typically don’t do this, especially in high-profile cases, to avoid jeopardizing the case.

Relatives of the victims were in court on Tuesday But also declined to comment.

James’ next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 20, when Hunt told KVUE his client will appear.

RELATED: APD releases body camera video of confrontation with southwest Austin shooting suspect

RELATED: APD provides timeline of shooting spree and explains why warning was not issued

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By meerna

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